Published: Fri, March 01, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Vt. Health Commissioner responds to current measles outbreak

Vt. Health Commissioner responds to current measles outbreak

In Washington, the majority of measles cases identified have occurred in individuals under the age of ten who had never received the vaccine. For a child with a compromised immune system, measles can be as risky as a gun.

Well-being officers recognized one other measles case in Clark County on Saturday. Among them is New York, where there have been more than 70 cases of measles in New York City since October, including cases among unvaccinated children within an Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.

Measles is a highly contagious airborne viral infection that spreads by coughing and sneezing.

The West is also affected; Public health experts have pointed the finger at a growing distrust of vaccines, claiming misinformation being shared on social media platforms, such as Facebook, is leading people to not immunise.

The Department of Health has declared measles outbreak in five regions in the Philippines, including Metro Manila, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Western and Central Visayas. "For Colorado it's not a matter of if we get a measles outbreak, it's a matter of when we get a measles outbreak".

According to World Health Organisation figures, there have been more than 68,000 cases of the disease since the outbreak began in September.

It is law in Ontario for parents to vaccinate their children for measles, diphtheria, tetanus, meningitis, chickenpox and other diseases before attending school, unless they obtain an exemption on medical, philosophical or religious grounds and attend a 30-minute presentation outlining the benefits of vaccines. While most cases pass unpleasantly, it can also lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications including infections of the lungs and brain.

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The risk of death from measles is higher for adults and infants than for children. And people who have measles can spread it from four days before a rash appears to four days after it has cleared.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that, at about 89 percent, Colorado has the lowest percentage of kindergartners vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella.

While there have been outbreaks involving multiple states, such as what was known as the Disneyland outbreak in 2015 with 147 cases in seven states, there has not been a recent sustained national-level measles epidemic in the United States.

Those born in 1970 or later are eligible for an MMR vaccination if they did not already receive two vaccines. Most states have regulations about vaccinations as a requirement for school attendance.

In Montana, parents can opt out of immunizing their children for either medical or religious reasons.

Doug Strachan, spokesman for the Surrey School District, the largest in B.C., said the district generally defers to the health authority when it comes to issues of public health.

And in California, he says, some doctors started giving unwarranted medical exemptions when the state eliminated non-medical exemptions, but on the whole vaccination rates did increase. Vaccination is available to prevent the disease, and that is effective too. Those came mostly from western North Carolina.

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